TYR Tactical

Corps Strength – Crossing the “T” (therapy) Off Your List

Anyone who has read my book Corps Strength, or follows my articles here on SSD, knows I’m not big on supplements. Not that I haven’t tried them, I have. I would say that up until about 10 years ago I seriously tried just about every different fitness supplement out there; Mega-Vitamins, all types of protein, fat burners, creatine, etc, etc, etc. I wish I had all the money back I wasted on that crap over the years, I could get the new truck I want with cash, instead of a loan. In any case live and learn, as I’m just as hard headed as anyone in having to try something for myself. Plus, I get the strong attraction of getting better results from our PT efforts, so I realize in the end people will try just about anything for some gains, no matter what this old jarhead says.

However, there is something I’ve seen a lot lately that goes beyond the normal hype you see in (mostly) harmless supplements. That’s the heavy advertising you see for Testosterone therapy for men. I’m not taking about the (worthless) over the counter stuff, but prescription drugs. It’s advertised everywhere; TV, radio, magazines and on the internet. This past weekend myself and my son took in a Yankee preseason game in Tampa and along the way I saw a big billboard advertising testosterone treatments. Of course they have a picture of a seriously jacked older guy as a proof source. I think this is misleading at best and dangerous at it’s worst.

Testosterone levels in men is serious business. If your body doesn’t produce enough you will have a range of problems. Fatigue, depression, fat gain, and the big one: lack of sex drive and these are just a few, there are many. Too much testosterone has its problems too, we know about this from bodybuilders who take immense amounts of steroids to increase their T levels to crazy high levels. Without getting too far into this, ideally your T level basically falls in a range of between 300-1000, depending on your age. Now it’s natural that your T levels will fall as you age, thats life stud. However, other than a serious medical condition or injury, IMO you can maintaining a healthy level (for any age) is possible, and you can do this without relying on drugs. The fact is a recent study of T therapy for men has indicated that it isn’t the “fountain of youth” that the ads make it seem. You can read the results of one study (there are lots of them out there) for yourself here: T Therapy.

There are many simple lifestyle things that will reduce your T levels; being out of shape and overweight are two big ones. Not getting enough sleep, stress, smoking and drinking too much, are others. On the opposite side a healthy lifestyle, exercise, maintaining a lean bodyweight, getting enough sleep and a good diet can have the reverse effect. For this I’ll use myself as an example (as I’m prone to do). When I retired from active duty I was 49 years old and I had the big retirement physical as we all do. One of the things you have done (which I never had before), was to have my T level checked. At my final out brief with the doc he asked me if I was taking any T supplements as my number was 702, which was the high end of my age group and still high middle for the for any age. (No, I wasn’t taking anything) Now last year at age 56, I was tested again and mine actually went up to 733 (to my wife’s horror). I think it went up because since I retired and left New Orleans, I drink much less and get a lot more sleep.
The point here is that today’s culture that likes to throw drugs at every issue, as an instant cure is not only dangerous, but (as the study points out) in many cases, doesn’t provide the desired results. I still stubbornly think that when it comes to our health, we can do a lot with just some honest effort in PT, some restraint at the table and the bar and some common sense to manage our stress. At least before turning to a drug, give it a try. Plus, the fact is once you start on it, you pretty much have to continue it for life, I say F**k that.

In any case I’m off to Trinidad next month to train some of their people, I should (as I’m prone to do), see something there worth talking about next month. Till then be safe always, good when you can.

Semper Fi



12 Responses to “Corps Strength – Crossing the “T” (therapy) Off Your List”

  1. Stefan S. says:

    Well said. Everyone wants the quick fix. Big Pharm is peddling drugs in elementary school. You never leave the military medical facility without a big brown bag o’ pills. Got a boo-boo? Here’s $100 worth of Ranger candy….and have a nice day. You’re bombarded with commercials for HGH, Testosterone boosters and that purple pill.

  2. Paul says:

    Thanks for publishing this. I’m pushing 60 and my urologist recently diagnosed me with “low-T”. I’ve been skeptical about the need for treatment and the article you referred to reinforces my suspicion that testosterone replacement medication is NOT necessarily the way to go. I will discuss it with my physician. Proper PT and diet might be the better solution.

  3. Tim says:

    While I agree with you that diet and exercise are the Key ingredients to maintaining a healthy and physically fit body, and I also agree that the majority of the supplements out there are a waste of money…. I think it’s great that you have been blessed with a (still) well functioning endocrine system with T levels in the upper third of the “normal” range. I do not support or condone the use of Testosterone or other steroids as a quick fix, or a performance enhancer, especially in the case of younger, other wise healthy athletes, but…. Testosterone replacement therapy is NOT evil. IF you are exercising and eating right, and still having issues, Testosterone therapybmight be just what you need. Go to a Dr. (I suggest an Endocrinologist, as most family docs are not well educated in this area) and get lab tests for your Testosterone levels. I would also suggest having tests run on your thyroid levels (TSH, T3, and T4) because hypothyroidism and hypogonadism commonly go hand and hand. If your Testosterone levels fall below the low normal level, I would suggest doing some of your own research and work with your Dr. To come up with a treatment plan. This does not always include synthetic testosterone. For example, I am on a testosterone replacement plan in which I take HCG (human chorianic gonadotropin) to stimulate the testes production of natural testosterone. This helps me maintain an upper third level when I naturally produce substantially less than low normal. My point being, there are options available that are not at all harmful if your levels are low and diet and exercise alone are not working.
    Secondly… If you (like me) have spent a career in the military filled with ttaining and deployments in which your eating, sleeping, and stress control habits haven’t been the best… You may be surprised at the toll that has taken on your body. There is no harm in requesting the labs, the military will pay for them, as well as Dr. Supervised replacement therapy if you should require it.

    • Leon Vickers says:

      Great post!

      A lot of people are uneducated(like the author of this article) on causes of low T.

      Lets not forget the many, many problems that low T is associate with, such as cancer, low bone density, etc….

  4. zmch says:

    Agree that it’s is not a cure all for everyone but before you bash hormone therapy too much I highly suggest you check out the Warrior Angel Foundation(WAFTBI.ORG) run by Andrew Marr. Andrew and his friend Dr Gordon are doing some truly amazing things with hormone therapy, specifically as it relates to TBI. You’ve must have some good genes but that isn’t the case for everyone.

  5. UNCLE MATT says:

    He’s making a “general” statement about a lot of the male demographic nowadays. Quick fix, no work, write a check and get gains…Most readers here are educated enough to see thru the b.s. and T therapy for what it “generally” is. These cases gentlemen are certainly the exception; MGUNZs’ professional opinions on physical fitness/lifestyle are something I always look forward to reading…well done! off to Texas this morning!

  6. Tacmedic1 says:

    You can be on all the T therapy you want, but if you cant eat a good diet and find the front door to a gym, you wont be getting ANY quick fix or gains. It may give you some more energy and increase your libido, but you wont see any physical gains without putting in your time at the gym.

  7. Leon Vickers says:

    The environment we live in destroys testosterone….. cellphones, chemicals in shampoos, deodorants, etc….. trace amounts of birth control, antibiotics, anti-psychotics in our water, most non-organic foods…etc.

    There is a reason why male sperm and test rates are a large percentage lower than the 1950s. Its more than saying your prayers and taking your vitamins brother!

    • Ryan M says:

      I think its more fast food and time behind a computer screen….
      Damn. I gotta go outside.

  8. EODFish says:

    I have been on legitimate T Therapy for a little over a year and a half so far and it is a night and day difference. Knowing that I had to fight hesitant .mil docs for almost five years prior to starting the treatment, makes me angry knowing that my quality of life could have been that much better.

  9. Donna Mullen says:

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  10. Ryan M says:

    I’m a physician and I am sick of people asking for testosterone. There are a handful of people that really need the stuff. Most just need to get off the couch. Thanks for the article. I will share it with some of my patients.